History of Rapa, the King of Scrapple

Rapa ScrappleI do like scrapple, though I don’t think anyone I know now actually eats it, so I just don’t have the courage to bring it in the house. It’s one of those things that if you overthink, you lose the appetite.

I do remember as a child being served it in right fashionable suburban houses in the 1970s in Virginia. It is primarily German derived, and is usually some mixture of offal, or meat scraps. Good scrapple for breakfast is usually pan fried, and tastes good with eggs and bacon. It is more of a mid-Atlantic dish, and not so much deep South, though others may disagree. The crust, in bacon grease, makes it easier to eat because the texture isn’t chewy. It’s crisp.

Marion Cabell Tyree’s Housekeeping in Old Virginia has numerous recipes for what to do with pork parts, including an astounding souse cheese. Tyree writes “one head and a dozen ears make a good sized cheese.” However, it does not have scrapple, which definitely means it is not a deep South specialty. That being said, the idea of taking pork parts, combining them with corn flour and spices and frying it can hardly be unique to Germans.

The main scrapple brand is, of course, Rapa, named for the brothers Ralph and Paul Adams of Bridgeville, Delaware. Their website states that in 1926 two brothers from founded RAPA Scrapple, joining their names to create the well-known RAPA trademark. Their recipe for the pork product has been used since the early 1920s when they developed it, and has not changed.

The question. Is it a delicacy? Or not.

About the Author

  • Garland Pollard is publisher/editor of BrandlandUSA. Since 2006, the website BrandlandUSA.com has chronicled the history and business of America’s great brands. He has decades of experience across all media, including newspapers, TV, radio, magazines and the web.

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